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Asian Deli at 388 Western - What a GEM

s
shanemio Nov 1, 2010 06:50 PM

I always wanted to try the deli just North of the freeway on Western right around the corner from the overpriced and wholly mediocre Mai Village. I recently drove by, happened to be starving and just drove in to see what it was about.
First impressions: neat, small, tidy and CLEAN. I mean really clean - like it smelled clean - place. About a dozen tables and a counter to order from. Badly printed menu with the usual thai regulars and what looked like some Lao thrown in. Prices: decent to really good.
I ordered what I always do in a new place: fresh spring rolls and chicken pad thai. These arent' my favorites, but a really good yardstick to go from. Two women, so clean they wore hairnets, struggled happily to take my order and had me sit for 10 or so minutes.
The food: three fresh spring rolls for $3 were great. Fresh, lots of veggies, chicken, shrimp and ground pork. The sauces: fish and peanut. The cheapest best I have had in st paul, Beat Bangkok Deli - my prior fav, but for the fish dipping sauce. The pad thai. A HUGE portion for $6.95. I mean, three days in a row I ate so much Pad Thai I was sick. And it was GOOD. Really good. And slightly different. The noodles are the wide rice noodles and the chicken was beautifully brown. It had a lovely citrus overtone and generally was just plain delicious. So delicious, I repeated the experience again and my serving was even bigger the 2nd time! That time I went in closer to lunch hour where they live up to their "deli" designation. They had a huge beautiful egg roll salad ready to go, along with fresh spring rolls, which I had to order again, and what looked like a lovely red curry. The same hair-netted woman waited on me and encouraged me in that direction. If I can get over my addiction for their pad thai, I will. Honestly, I rarely eat pad thai but as an intro and I can't stop thinking about it. My eight year old went bonkers over my left overs too.

I read this site alot, but never contribute. I have to encouage you all to check out Asian Deli. It would be criminal if this little gem did not make it. And both times, I was the only customer. Try it for lunch. I would love to hear what others have to say about it.

Jayne

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Mai Village
394 University Ave W, Saint Paul, MN 55103

  1. k
    karykat Nov 1, 2010 07:58 PM

    Thanks for posting. I can't picture anything there. Is there a little strip mall there? I will look for it in the next day as I will be in the neighborhood.

    1 Reply
    1. re: karykat
      s
      shanemio Nov 1, 2010 08:03 PM

      Yes, it is before the Union Gospel Mission's building and is part of a really little stip mall. More like a single story office building with a deli attached. On the east side of Western. Do check it out!

    2. k
      kevin47 Nov 1, 2010 08:16 PM

      Just had a wholly mediocre lunch at Mai Village. Interested to try.

      That said, if the rice noodles are fatter, isn't that venturing into pad see ew territory?

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      Mai Village
      394 University Ave W, Saint Paul, MN 55103

      3 Replies
      1. re: kevin47
        s
        shanemio Nov 2, 2010 10:03 AM

        I will take your word for it, Kevin! I am no expert on Thai food and haven't tried enough dishes at Asian Deli to compare. I am seriously thinking of going back today though...

        1. re: shanemio
          b
          bethanyg Nov 3, 2010 12:17 PM

          Tried it for lunch today and it really was All That. had the pad thai and the stuffed chicken wings. Friendly people and close by — cheap, delicious, and lots of leftovers — even takes credit cards — we'll be there often.

          1. re: bethanyg
            s
            shanemio Nov 4, 2010 06:38 PM

            I am so happy you had a good experience!!! Like I said, both times I have been there, I was the only customer. Cool.

      2. s
        spahkee Nov 4, 2010 08:40 AM

        Does anyone know if they are open for dinner or is it just a lunch place?

        6 Replies
        1. re: spahkee
          s
          shanemio Nov 4, 2010 06:42 PM

          It is only open until 6pm. Got take out for dinner this evening. Again, great big huge portion of good pad thai, really fresh spring rolls, so-so egg rolls, and what I thought was a HUGE bargain: red curry with pork for 5.95. It was Great. Lots of thai basil and nice heat. They didn't ask me over the phone, so I was interested to see how much heat it would have. I rate it medium and right for me. It was very very good. This place is a gem. Going back again to try the soups...
          Also, this time I noticed on their cards they advertise themselves as Hmong, Lao, and Thai food. Beef Larb, raw or cooked anyone???

          1. re: shanemio
            f
            faith Nov 4, 2010 09:52 PM

            what's the name of the place please? can you give us the phone no.?

            1. re: faith
              s
              SmartCookie Nov 5, 2010 10:07 AM

              Stopped by for lunch today, and I created a "Places" link.

              I had the Chicken Pad Thai, and it was really quite nice; not too sweet or sticky. I also had the raw Beef Larb, and this being one of my favorite dishes, I have to say I was a tiny bit disappointed; the meat, though really flavorful, was a bit mushy for my taste. I will certainly try this again, but probably lightly cooked instead. Considering both of the dishes were priced at $6.95 and were generous portions, I really can't complain.

              To clarify the hours, they are only open Mon-Fri from 10am to 7pm (the menu says 6pm, but the guy behind the counter said it is actually 7pm, which is what the sign outside says.) He mentioned the owners are thinking about being open on the weekends, but have not yet decided. He said they were also thinking about staying open a bit later, but are waiting to see how much business they get later in the day to see if it is worth it.

              I have a menu but is isn't a very good copy, so I'll see how well it scans and try to upload it.

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              Asian Deli
              388 Western Ave N, St Paul, MN 55103

              1. re: SmartCookie
                s
                SmartCookie Nov 5, 2010 03:06 PM

                Sorry, the pic didn't come through.

                1. re: SmartCookie
                  d
                  docfood Nov 5, 2010 03:29 PM

                  I, too went there for lunch today and had the tofu Pad Thai. What a tasty meal with a large portion of crispy tofu, wide rice noodles and a lovely sauce. I will be back and also heard they are beginning to be open till 7 and looking at an 8:00 closing. The wait person said they were unbelievably busy recently and are pleased. Good work chowhounds. Check this place out. Huge portions, low prices, and great, great food.

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                  Asian Deli
                  388 Western Ave N, St Paul, MN 55103

                  1. re: SmartCookie
                    WildSwede Apr 19, 2011 02:10 PM

                    Hi SmartCookie. Where is your favorite place to get Chicken Larb? It is one of my favorite Thai dishes. TIA!

            2. diesel Nov 10, 2010 06:54 PM

              I shared this link with several coworkers on Sunday. Each of them ate at Asian Deli twice already this week (except me - I got my first "go" today). And one of them is planning to go back on Friday!

              Today I tried the stuffed chicken wings and pad see ew with tofu.

              The stuffed chicken wings were huge chix wings stuffed with noodles and pork (what you'd find in a lot of egg rolls), then deep fried and served with a sweet and sour sauce. Delicious!

              The pad see ew was good. The noodles were nice and chewy, though a bit narrower than I expect for this dish (when I've had it elsewhere the noodles were approx an inch wide, while these were about half an inch wide). The Chinese broccoli in the pad see ew was super fresh and perfectly cooked - it had a nice crunch without seeming raw. The flavor of the dish was good - especially with a good squirt of lime over the top (and might I add, their limes actually have juice in them!). The dish was lacking a little of the "wok breath" I like to find in stir fried noodle dishes, but overall it was very pleasant - and even better reheated for dinner. By the way, one order fed me for lunch, my husband for dinner, and me again for a night time snack.

              The people working there were really friendly and welcoming - always a plus! Definitely worth a try folks! And it's so fun to have a clean new place to try in the 'hood! Thanks for the tip shanemio - I generally avoid places that include the word "Asian" in their name, so I might never have tried it without your urging.

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              Asian Deli
              388 Western Ave N, St Paul, MN 55103

              1. s
                steve_in_stpaul Nov 12, 2010 10:35 AM

                Jayne, thanks for the tip! I just got back from lunch at Asian Deli and it was great! Lao pho with a flavorful not-sweet broth, the freshest bean sprouts I think I've ever had with pho; nice, bright jalapeño peppers; chewy noodles. I think Saigon may have lost a customer (though Saigon does have a more extensive (pho) menu and time will tell if this place can keep it up). The spring roll I had was very fresh and tasty and obviously assembled with care.

                I was there around noon and saw a table of maybe 6-7 people from a local office (diesel's? some of them admitted to the server of several vists this week), a table of two with what looked like 4-6 dishes, and two take out orders. Nice to see them busier -- they definitely deserve the business. A welcome addition to the neighborhood.

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                Asian Deli
                388 Western Ave N, St Paul, MN 55103

                1 Reply
                1. re: steve_in_stpaul
                  diesel Nov 12, 2010 12:20 PM

                  Ha! Yep, that was a big posse from my office - I took the day off today but bumped into them when I stopped in for take-out. You must have been the guy at the table near the counter? Small world.

                  My husband and I wanted cheap, fast eats today - we really wanted Saigon's banh mi but we were out of cash (they don't take cards these days) so . . . back to Asian Deli. Got pad see ew again, this time with shrimp. The noodles were a bit mushier and less flavorful this time around. Still good though!

                  -----
                  Asian Deli
                  388 Western Ave N, St Paul, MN 55103

                2. s
                  shanemio Dec 1, 2010 01:30 PM

                  Thanks everyone for the great feedback. I was back again on Monday and it was pretty slow. I am glad to hear they are getting some traffic, and more importantly, folks like it. I have to say, I am not a pad thai lover, but I CRAVE it. I had the curry soup and it was really very good - both days I ate it, but I am still thinking pad thai, pad thai, pad thai...
                  They also have posted their "deli" menu, which is their ready to go items: of interest catfish roll. They also have spring roll salad, the forementioned curry soup, spring rolls and their rice rolls, which have pork. All ready to go. Who is going to try the catfish roll first?

                  Jayne

                  8 Replies
                  1. re: shanemio
                    m
                    midwaygirl Dec 2, 2010 03:46 PM

                    Thank YOU for letting us know about it. I live in the neighborhood and had no idea it was there. Now I've been back twice in two weeks. In the freezing cold, dark of night, with toddler in tow. I couldn't get the pad see ew out of my mind. The spring rolls are mighty tasty (and so fresh), too.

                    1. re: shanemio
                      diesel Dec 2, 2010 09:47 PM

                      I want to try the catfish roll! I asked about it last time I was there and it sounds like it *might* be a little like a dish I loved at the now-closed Thai Bazil (fish steamed in a banana leaf). Not sure when I'll be back, though, these next few weeks are complete chaos. If someone else tries it, do post!

                      1. re: diesel
                        diesel Mar 9, 2011 08:19 PM

                        Finally tried the catfish roll. It's catfish seasoned with dill and I believe coconut milk, wrapped and steamed in a banana leaf. Pretty tasty - the fish was tender and yummy.

                        I also tried the Tom Yum with fish last time I was there. Super nummy - strong lemongrass and basil flavors, and the fish worked well. Again, huge portion - two meals' worth for me.

                        As someone else posted (below), they have been pretty empty lately. I hope they hang on - the food is great, reasonably priced, and the people who run it could not be nicer.

                        1. re: diesel
                          s
                          shanemio Mar 10, 2011 06:19 AM

                          Thanks Diesel, for the feedback! I was wondering when someone was going to go for the catfish roll!
                          The Tom Yum fish is on my list of to try now,
                          J

                          1. re: diesel
                            k
                            karykat Mar 10, 2011 08:07 AM

                            Tell us a little more. Do you view this as more of a take-out place or eat in?

                            Is there good seating? Comfortable?

                            1. re: karykat
                              k
                              kevin47 Mar 10, 2011 10:49 AM

                              Just went for lunch today and had a very good experience. The room is stripped down, but pristine (and sizable). A few deli items up front are well organized and appetizing. It's in a strip mall with ample parking.

                              Our server struck me as likely to be the son of the chef or owner. He was prompt, informative and friendly. Absolutely a comfortable and competent experience.

                              The food, as mentioned, is extraordinarily inexpensive. With a couple of exceptions, entrees are in the $6-7 range. Hot tea for two was $1 (our waiter encouraged us to share, since there are free refills)

                              We started with spring rolls, and added chicken larb, the seafood salad and red curry pork.

                              The spring rolls were very fresh and flavorful. I've been having bad luck with these lately, so it was nice to be reminded of why I like them so much. At three for $3.50, they are a steal.

                              The pork curry came first. Tasty, with bamboo tips as well as shoots. Again, very generous portion. I could've used a bit more basil kick, though the aroma was there. Easily as good as versions that cost $4 more.

                              The seafood salad (yum seafood) is the destination dish here, I think. Such a simple preparation, but it packed a lot of flavor thanks to generous additions of herbs and spices. Avoid this dish if you do not like cilantro. The squid was nice and tender. And, as per form, you get a lot of food. The spice level was to my specifications. Plenty of heat.

                              Friend had the chicken larb. This didn't have the punch of the Bangkok Thai Deli and On's versions, and there was no mint.

                              Took some beef jerky home for the co-workers. Less sugary than what I am used too, and a great consistency.

                              This is the kind of place that engenders a lot of goodwill. It was empty, and shouldn't have been.

                              1. re: kevin47
                                k
                                karykat Mar 10, 2011 11:55 AM

                                This helps. Thanks. I've suggested it to my SO a few times without luck. But being able to visualize it and all the detail helps.

                                This will be a priority.

                                1. re: karykat
                                  s
                                  shanemio Mar 12, 2011 01:29 PM

                                  It is very cafe-like. Small, clean, simple. Very basic, but good service if at a table and of course, great take-out. Glad to see people are still going...

                      2. d
                        docfood Dec 3, 2010 11:37 AM

                        Went again for lunch today. Had the papaya salad and the seafood salad which I shared with my partner in chow. Both of the salads were delicious! The papaya one was quite fresh, tangy and spicy. The seafood one had shrimp and squid and was in a lovely marinade with lime, pepper, something floral, and sweet. Complete eating harmony in the flavors. My partner said it was the best food he had eaten in an Asian restaurant in this country.

                        15 Replies
                        1. re: docfood
                          s
                          shanemio Dec 22, 2010 10:32 AM

                          I also had the Seafood Salad and thought it was delicious. Still love this place...

                          Thanks for the heads up docfood.

                          -----
                          Asian Deli
                          388 Western Ave N, St Paul, MN 55103

                          1. re: shanemio
                            e
                            eastlakovore Jan 25, 2011 06:21 AM

                            Got take out there last night. Fantastic stuff.
                            As a first pass, I wanted to stay simple - their spring rolls and egg rolls along with the pad see ew with beef. All three tasted fresh (the chinese broccoli in the pad see ew was perfect). The price point couldn't be beat, and the staff (or family) was friendly.

                            Glad this board mentioned them, I would have driven right past not knowing they were doing seriously good cooking. I look forward to going back for further exploration.

                            1. re: eastlakovore
                              s
                              shanemio Feb 9, 2011 05:04 PM

                              I was hoping someone had been there recently, I am so glad you liked it. I am still on my New Year's detox but looking forward to a Asian Deli meal soon.

                              -----
                              Asian Deli
                              388 Western Ave N, St Paul, MN 55103

                              1. re: shanemio
                                diesel Feb 9, 2011 07:57 PM

                                I've been a handful of times since my last post. New things I learned:

                                The seafood salad IS wonderful - I imagine it would be especially wonderful in the summer, as it's a cold, citrusy, spicy, sweet, salty, lemongrassy, chewy affair. Thanks for the tip, CHers!

                                I did not care for their version of larb. I got the cooked beef version (they also have chicken and raw beef versions). It was pretty blah, though I couldn't put my finger on why. I added a TON of lime and it was better, but . . . I'd still not recommend that dish.

                                The pho broth was wonderful - a stronger anise flavor than I've found other places - and that's a good thing in my book.

                                1. re: diesel
                                  s
                                  shanemio Feb 10, 2011 04:36 AM

                                  I am all over that seafood salad also.

                                  Thanks for the update.

                                  1. re: shanemio
                                    s
                                    shanemio Mar 9, 2011 02:08 PM

                                    Sent some co-workers that way today and they had a very favorable impression ; good food, clean and cheap. They also have lunch for tomorrow now too.
                                    They did report is was EMPTY. Come on folks, we don't want to let this one get away. This is a BUMP...

                                    1. re: shanemio
                                      b
                                      Bobannon Mar 9, 2011 02:47 PM

                                      Ok, I'm convinced....i'm going to try it this weekend. Every time I read a post about this place I want to try it and then forget, but St Paul isn't that convenient for me, especially in the winter when the roads suck. Assuming they are open Saturdays?

                                      1. re: Bobannon
                                        k
                                        KTFoley Mar 9, 2011 02:52 PM

                                        No, I am sad to say they are closed on weekends. And if it's slow in the evenings they'll start shutting down the kitchen at 6:15 even though their posted hours are until 7:00.

                                      2. re: shanemio
                                        k
                                        karykat Mar 9, 2011 04:31 PM

                                        I'm convinced too. We've been meaning to go and this is the reminder I needed.

                                        1. re: shanemio
                                          Uisge Mar 10, 2011 08:06 AM

                                          I wanted to add my thanks to the general din.

                                          Took my kid here and it's her new favorite spot. Love their spring rolls even more than Saigon's. She really likes their beef fried rice and has also given a thumbs up to the special pho.

                                          Thanks for the heads up.

                                          1. re: Uisge
                                            diesel Mar 10, 2011 01:56 PM

                                            Uisge, was it you who also loved the fish in banana leaf dish at the former Thai Bazil? I know someone did.

                                            If it was you, try the catfish roll at Asian Deli. It's not exactly the same (lots of dill and not *quite* as good, and not served with rice and steamed veggies that made the Thai Bazil version a wonderful, full, healthy meal), but the fish is along the same lines, and I liked it a lot.

                                            If it was not you, sorry I got corn-fused.

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                                            Asian Deli
                                            388 Western Ave N, St Paul, MN 55103

                                            1. re: diesel
                                              Uisge Mar 14, 2011 10:41 AM

                                              Not me. But I'm still looking forward to trying it.

                                          2. re: shanemio
                                            s
                                            shanemio Mar 30, 2011 10:38 AM

                                            Just tried the stuffed chicken wings. One word: HEAVEN. Another must try and new addiction.
                                            Looked busier today, three tables filled. A good sign.

                                            1. re: shanemio
                                              t
                                              Tmorrow Apr 4, 2011 08:12 AM

                                              If you go, try the cucumber and beef salad - very fresh and a little spicy. Also, ask about the Laos hard-boiled eggs. They drain an egg, mix it up with spices, then put it back in the eggshell and hard boil it. Really good.
                                              It's my favorite take-out place: great food, low prices and friendly staff. The location is a bit off the beaten path, and they close early, but it's worth the trip.

                                              1. re: Tmorrow
                                                s
                                                shanemio Apr 4, 2011 09:58 AM

                                                Thanks! Sounds great - I will try it next time.

                              2. k
                                KlausLebenstein Apr 4, 2011 11:51 AM

                                Must say I love this place for a quick lunch. The ingredients are fresh, well prepared, politely served and in portions ample enough for a few meals making this incredible value! 3 spring rolls each with three shrimp cost only $3.50! After one helping of those and one of the pad see ew, we were fully nourished -one entree is probably enough for three meals -at least two! Working in an office where some can't handle MSG and others prefer tofu, lunching can be tricky but the folks at Asian Deli can make most of the menu according to your preferences whatever they be! They're also very kind so don't feel like you always need to take out.

                                Looking forward to leftovers for dinner,
                                Klaus

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                                Asian Deli
                                388 Western Ave N, St Paul, MN 55103

                                5 Replies
                                1. re: KlausLebenstein
                                  s
                                  shanemio Apr 5, 2011 11:16 AM

                                  I am on Day 3 for my pad see ew...

                                  1. re: shanemio
                                    s
                                    shanemio Apr 10, 2011 06:56 PM

                                    update; ordered my newest fav, stuffed chicken wings, but just said chicken wings as the stuffed are the only ones on the menu. Got an order of chicken wings. Originally disappointed, but ultimately, they were great. Now, not as good as the stuffed.
                                    Also picked up the eggs, as they were a "to go" item. Did not do anything for me, but don't let that stop anyone.

                                    1. re: shanemio
                                      s
                                      soupkitten Apr 18, 2011 06:23 PM

                                      clarification on the menu re: chicken wings

                                      maybe they printed a new menu, but when i went today there were 4 apps listed, and both regular fried and stuffed were on there.
                                      1 fried chicken wings (6) $3
                                      2 spring rolls (3) $3.50
                                      3 egg rolls (3) $3.50
                                      4 stuffed chicken wings (2) $3.95

                                      ordered the stuffed chicken wings myself. for me these were okay and not great-- i *really* like the hmong-style stuffed chicken wings with the spicy sausage stuffing, so maybe i brought in too much of that expectation.

                                      1. re: soupkitten
                                        k
                                        kevin47 Apr 18, 2011 07:53 PM

                                        Out of curiosity, what is your go-to place for stuffed wings?

                                        Asian Deli seems like one of those places that does everything well, but nothing at the "best of" level.

                                        -----
                                        Asian Deli
                                        388 Western Ave N, St Paul, MN 55103

                                        1. re: kevin47
                                          s
                                          soupkitten Apr 18, 2011 08:13 PM

                                          oh. . . crud. i can never think of the name of the stand at the como ave hmong marketplace food court. it's to the left of mr. papaya and they also sell ribs and whole sausages. uh, anyway that's my "go to" place for sausage stuffed chx wings, i get them every time i'm there, if they have them. i'm moderately obsessed, btw, so if anyone knows of the same style wings sold not all the eff over there. . . help me out :)

                                          the stuffed chx wings at asian deli had ground pork and rice noodles, not a lot of spice, and they came with a dipping sauce. good, not stunning-- for someone obsessed with sausage stuffed chx wings, that is.

                                          i'm looking forward to wading thru the menu at asian deli (at 25 items, shouldn't take too long). we were very pleased w the red curry actually, they brought the spice level up for us and it really was excellent esp for such a moderate price. i really wanted to try the seafood salad everyone loves but i also wanted to share with dh who, despite being perfect in all other respects, has this cumbersome shellfish allergy *sigh.*

                                2. s
                                  spahkee Apr 16, 2011 06:55 AM

                                  This gem is turning into a family favorite. Location wise, it's off University going south on Western where Mai Village is located. We've only gone for dinner and the food has always been eyepoppingly fresh and flavorful. Restaurant is immaculately clean (unlike some of the Asian places on University between Rice and Victoria that we have gone for pho, banh mi or bun noodle salads).

                                  I don't know what the lunch crowd is like but both times we've gone for dinner, we've been the only ones there. They are not open on Saturday or Sunday - which is a shame because perhaps more families would venture there on a Saturday. If the owners are reading this, I'd suggest that they maybe consider closing Sunday and Monday and opening Tuesday - Saturday to see if their business will grow. I hope that they remain in business and are successful because it is a true addition to the food in that area.,

                                  If you haven't gone, check it out and support this place. We've tried a couple of their soups - tom yum and their red curry coconut noodle soup, their chicken wings and egg rolls as well as their pad sew yew and red curry. Consistently good and a wonderful find.

                                  -----
                                  Mai Village
                                  394 University Ave W, Saint Paul, MN 55103

                                  11 Replies
                                  1. re: spahkee
                                    s
                                    soupkitten Apr 18, 2011 06:35 PM

                                    got a little comforting info for the hounds who are concerned about the lack of traffic at this place.

                                    we were sitting there waiting for our food and dh (restaurant detective) was like: "the kitchen here is too big for this place to *just* do this deli. and their hours are too weird." he looked around the immediate vicinity and surmised that the deli most likely does some cooking/commissary for the (asian) senior living complex across the parking lot (this was confirmed by one of the family when he enquired as we paid our tab). then he looked on the menu and saw that under the hours it states saturday/sunday "catering pickup only." so maybe they also do enough catering on the weekend to have it behoove them to keep the retail deli closed and just bang out large orders of food for catering pickup. all of this info made me feel better about the likelihood of this little place staying open, because we were the only folks there for the duration of our meal! so don't run to patronize the asian deli because you fear it will go out of biz-- run to patronize them because the food is GOOD! :) and cheap. and, order catering on the wkend or something.

                                    1. re: soupkitten
                                      diesel Apr 18, 2011 08:10 PM

                                      My coworkers and I recently confirmed the catering connection with the neighboring adult day care too. I want to know what I can do now to ensure that I have food this good when it's time for ME to attend adult day care!

                                      Just to add to the body of shared experiences about AD, a dining companion recently ordered Kao Poon, which is a coconut milk based soup with noodles, meat, and bamboo, and maybe a few other items. I was lucky enough to sample a bite. Yum! Total comfort food. He says it's usually served room temp, so if you want it served hot, you have to specifically request that. I will be ordering my OWN bowl on my next AD visit. Cheers.

                                      1. re: diesel
                                        s
                                        shanemio Apr 19, 2011 01:50 PM

                                        Excellent news! I was in yesterday for lunch and again, we were the only table there from 12:30 to 2pm. If, indeed, they have other catering business, I feel much better. It truly would be a shame for them to not make it. They may not be the "best" of, but they are consistantly good. And so affordable.
                                        I keep meaning to give this website to the very cordial young man who is often behind the counter. If someone else remembers, please feel free to beat me to it.

                                        1. re: shanemio
                                          k
                                          kevin47 Apr 19, 2011 04:38 PM

                                          I wish places in the area would consider a WordPress site or something. Even a simple blog with menu offerings and directions would be huge. The name "Asian Deli" isn't exactly illuminating.

                                          1. re: kevin47
                                            s
                                            shanemio Apr 20, 2011 05:24 AM

                                            Especially with the huge amount of construction and ensuing confusion that will be happening with light rail. I don't know Kevin...Asian Deli conjures all sorts of really generic images in my mind!

                                            1. re: shanemio
                                              s
                                              shanemio May 15, 2011 03:55 PM

                                              Another great group lunch on Friday - still very quiet. Just a reminder to fellow hounds, get thee that way.

                                              1. re: shanemio
                                                c
                                                carolita Jul 15, 2011 02:36 PM

                                                this place is indeed a gem! six of us stopped by for lunch yesterday and were the only customers. our waiter (owner?) was most accomodating; we were two couples and two active young children. i won't go into details of all we ate other than to say the food was superb and generously portioned. two of our group got the iced tea and passed it around, it was so delicious. we can't wait to go back (my daughter and son in law were with us, visiting from spain, and were so thrilled to find such luscious asian food.) i understand the place is not very busy now; partly because of the state shutdown....come on foodies, check this terrific place out and keep it in business.

                                                1. re: carolita
                                                  s
                                                  shanemio Jul 16, 2011 12:52 PM

                                                  I agree. Still LOVE this place. Good food, nice people and even with slightly higher prices, very generous portions for cheap.

                                                  1. re: carolita
                                                    Uisge Jul 18, 2011 02:22 PM

                                                    Just another in the chorus of love...

                                                    Had guests in town and we visited Duluth. While there, we had some very bad thai food. Was wonderful to get back to MSP and take them to Asian Deli and confirm that we can do asian food really well. Tasty, fresh, big portions and reasonable prices. Plus - the service is always wonderful and speedy (which was good, since my guests had a flight to check.)

                                                    -----
                                                    Asian Deli
                                                    388 Western Ave N, St Paul, MN 55103

                                              2. re: kevin47
                                                m
                                                michael_asiandeli Jun 6, 2011 01:04 PM

                                                Hi guys,

                                                Thank you for all the positive feedback you've given the deli. I'm in the process of getting a website up, hopefully that will be finished in the next couple of weeks, but in the meantime there is the facebook page which I created today. If you all search "Asian Deli & Restaurant", you should find it. There is a basic menu, and hopefully you'll find any information you're looking for, will be found there. I'll put some photos online tonight too. :)

                                                1. re: michael_asiandeli
                                                  s
                                                  shanemio Jun 6, 2011 07:48 PM

                                                  I am so happy you found us! And that you are working on a web page and facebook. Just so happened to have enjoyed another lovely lunch with you today...

                                      2. s
                                        ssioff Dec 16, 2011 08:33 AM

                                        Wanted to give this thread a bump. Awesome place with great, fresh food. Stopped last night and got stuffed chicken wings and egg roll salad. Yummy as usual.

                                        FYI - They are closing at 6:00 instead of 7:00 until the clocks spring forward again.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: ssioff
                                          t
                                          Tmorrow Dec 16, 2011 09:10 AM

                                          I also stopped by last night for stuffed chicken wings, spring rolls and the pad see ew. It is now my go-to place for take-out Asian food. The bill was $15 and I have enough left over for lunch today. The employees are very friendly too. If you haven't been, you've got to check it out.

                                        2. g
                                          greghoffman Feb 24, 2012 11:22 AM

                                          I finally made it to this place - just happened to be in the area around lunchtime and thought of it. When I got there right at 11:30, there was only one other person in there, but right behind me, three more small groups came in, and then people started showing up for takeout orders. Looks like their lunch business is pretty good.

                                          I started out with the spring rolls. They weren't the best I'd ever had (Taste of Thaiyai, in Apple Valley - the "Special Spring Roll" - love the added mint leaves), but were very good - and for the price - $3.95 for three good-sized rolls, each with three nice-sized shrimp, pork, and two kinds of dipping sauce - they're hard to beat.

                                          I also ordered the red curry with chicken. They did not ask me about spice level, and I would have preferred it more spicy, but it was very flavorful. It wasn't quite like other red curries I've had around here - I think it had _some_ coconut milk in it, but not much, and it wasn't mixed well with the rest of the broth/sauce - kind of separated out to the bottom. I was missing that coconut sweetness. But, the (mostly dark-meat) chicken, bamboo shoots and tips, basil, etc were all nicely seasoned by the broth, and the dish was very good. The only things I had to look out for were some large slices of ginger, some (kefir lime?) leaves, and some lemongrass stalks that were not chewable - had to pick around them.

                                          On the way home, after some of those flavors had started to clear, I even thought I detected a little bit of that Szechuan-peppercorn ma (or is it la?) tingling/numbness - not sure if there were any peppercorns in the curry, or in the pepper sauce I added, or whether it was just something else, but I did really like the dish - lots of complex flavors.

                                          1. m
                                            mull0263 Feb 24, 2012 11:54 AM

                                            First, thanks to all for the heads up on this place. I have been here a number of times now, and generally agree that it's worth checking out. I wouldn't say anything I have had here is best in class, but for the price and generally high quality, it's tough to beat.

                                            The egg roll bun, pad see ew and pad thai are all pretty good and their portion sizes are obnoxiously large - you can squeeze a couple meals out of everything. If you want anything spicy, definitely request it, as mild seems to be the defacto spice level. The only thing I haven't really enjoyed here is the special pho; the meatballs were pretty subpar, bland and tough, though the broth wasn't bad and was pretty well balanced.

                                            The people working the front have always been extremely nice, though the limited hours can make it a challenge to get here if you're not in the area during mid-day.

                                            6 Replies
                                            1. re: mull0263
                                              d
                                              docfood Feb 24, 2012 12:41 PM

                                              I just had the regular Pho for lunch. While the meatballs are not terrific, the broth is luxuriously deep, star-anise tinged, and spot on delightful. I think it is some of the best in town.

                                              1. re: docfood
                                                t
                                                Tmorrow Feb 24, 2012 12:49 PM

                                                You have to try the stuffed chicken wings. They serve them hot right out of the fryer with a tasty sweet and sour dipping sauce.

                                                1. re: docfood
                                                  l
                                                  LesterEats Feb 24, 2012 05:16 PM

                                                  I agree that the pho broth at Asian Deli is very good. My question is what bowl of pho in town has good meatballs? I always find Vietnamese meatballs chewy and tough. I'm sure most restaurants use the frozen ones like you find at United Noodles and other Asian grocery stores. I wonder if Ngon makes their own meatballs?

                                                  1. re: LesterEats
                                                    ibew292 Feb 24, 2012 08:29 PM

                                                    Jasmine 26 has the best Meatballs I have ever tasted. I'm sure that they are home made.

                                                    1. re: LesterEats
                                                      s
                                                      soupkitten Feb 26, 2012 06:24 PM

                                                      ngon's pho meatballs are my favorite in town. i know for a fact the chef's dad, who is himself a vietnamese chef/restaurateur (traditional) comes in once a week specifically to make them by hand. they are very light, non tough, excellent...

                                                  2. re: mull0263
                                                    s
                                                    shanemio Feb 27, 2012 06:16 AM

                                                    I like the Pho here. I think the addition of really fresh romaine leaves are great. But I do miss the basil.

                                                  3. Uisge Feb 28, 2012 10:23 AM

                                                    Heads up that they are changing their hours again. They'll be closing at 3pm starting March 3rd (I believe). Big bummer for me as this is a favorite dinner location for the kid and I.

                                                    3 Replies
                                                    1. re: Uisge
                                                      k
                                                      karykat Mar 1, 2012 10:15 PM

                                                      Any evening hours at all now? Weekends or anything?

                                                      We very much like this place for dinner too.

                                                      1. re: karykat
                                                        ibew292 Mar 2, 2012 05:33 AM

                                                        Their Facebook page only mentions M-F 11-3.

                                                        1. re: ibew292
                                                          m
                                                          mull0263 Mar 2, 2012 06:53 AM

                                                          Bummer.... was an early dinner spot for me as well on occasion, since I'm not in the area around the noon hour. Looks like I won't be there anytime soon.

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